Natural Heritage Project 2005 – 2007
Over the two years of the project many hours have been spent using the
equipment provided to gain further information about the species which
live on the park. From planned visits by schools and uniformed groups
such as Beavers and Guides to organised trapping sessions of birds, mammals
and moths, bat walks, fungi
forays and wildflower surveys, all species are recorded.
Casual records are also important. Recently the Harlequin Ladybird was
found by a volunteer cutting back overhanging trees and during 2006 a
chance sighting of an unfamiliar dragonfly proved, the following day,
to be a Black Darter. The Harlequin Ladybird was an inevitable record
as the species is spreading throughout the country but the Black Darter
was out of its normal range. Although, in saying this, during 2006 many
migrant species of moth and some dragonflies were recorded around the
Specific recording sessions have provided some highlights for the participants.
During a Bug Hunt, school pupils found a larva which turned out to be
a Ruby Tiger Moth caterpillar – a new species for the Park at that
time. The following week a different school on a Bug Hunt in the same
place found the adult moth, and a moth trapping session had to be abandoned
at 0100 hrs one morning due to the fact that the traps in use were swamped
by an estimated 1000 Crane-flies, filling the traps to the point that
nothing else could enter.
Mammal trapping also gave a surprising result, but one that can probably
be explained by the weather. Of the four species captured, three showed
average numbers, whereas the fourth, Common Shrew, provided only one capture.
It is thought that heavy and continuous rain soaks these animals and reduces
the amount of invertebrates upon which they feed. A combination of chilling
and reduced food availability would lead to a reduction in numbers.
Overall, the organised activities spanned 916 hours of participants time,
provided details of 139 species and added greatly to the data already
held at the park, the Nottinghamshire Geological and Biological Records
Centre, the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and the Nottinghamshire Biodiversity
Action Group. Enquiries have also been received regarding the continuation
of the activities and more sessions are planned in the future.
Finally, thanks must go to all the people who participated in the various
activities and, hopefully, enjoyed them, and to the people who were out
of bed at ungodly times, day and night, to lead them.